The Battle for Native Industry. The Debate upon the Corn Laws.  1846.  2 volumes  


The Battle for Native Industry.  The Debate upon the Corn Laws
contains the proceedings of the British Parliament for 1846 as they pertain to the Corn Laws.  The Contents of Volume II gives a good representation of the scope of the debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.  The Duke of Wellington, Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Brougham, Lord Stanley among others in Lords and Sir Robert Peel, Misters Newdegate, Clerke, Finch, Fellowes, Disraeli, Hawes in the Commons.  Both the debates and the thirty year history of the Laws provide an excellent case study for protectionism, free-trade, resource distribution, and social change.

Frederick Robinson first introduced the Corn Laws to Parliament in 1815.  Even at that time there was vigorous protest.  The Corn Laws limited the import of grain until the domestic price reached a certain level.  While protecting the domestic growers, the Laws resulted in a sharp rise in food prices.  In 1828, 1832, and 1841 the Laws were reformed, but that did not meet the demands of the populace.  The Corn Laws gave rise to organized movements such as the Anti-Corn Law League whose work contributed to eventual repeal and served as a model for subsequent social movements.  The 1846 repeal of the Corn Laws under the government of Sir Robert Peel followed the start of the Irish potato famine.



Sir Robert Peel -- detail of portrait by
Sir Thomas Lawrence. 
Peel was a major activist
in the Corn Law debates.

The enlargements of the book are sufficient for easy reading -- they will be a slow download on a modem.  The photographs of the The Debate upon the Corn Laws may be used freely on non-commercial sites (no advertisements) and for educational purposes.


Further Resources:

Background information on the Corn Laws -- by Marjie Bloy from Victorian Web

The Campaign for Repeal of the Corn Laws -- by Marjie Bloy from Victorian Web

The Corn Laws by T. R. Malthus from the Avalon Project at Yale University -- footnotes and background explanations in the lower frame of the page

Timeline of History -- the Corn Laws and concurrent events -- from the BBC

The debate on the Corn Laws from A Web of English History -- series of links to original text and external information

Text of Peel's speech on the Corn Laws, 27 August 1841 from A Web of English History

Extracts from Peel's Speech on Repeal of the Corn Laws, 15 May 1846 from A Web of English History

Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws, and of a Rise or Fall in the Price'  by T. R. Malthus -- full text at Project Gutenberg

The Corn Laws by Frederick Engels -- Supplement to Rheinische Zeitung, December 27, 1842 -- transcribed into HTML by Andy Blunden

PDF file of an article on the Corn Laws and political pressure groups -- Landlordism and Liberty: Aristocratic Misrule and the Anti-Corn-Law League by Richard F. Spall, Jr. of Ohio Wesleyan

 (c) Marilyn Shea, 2006, 2009